Rai loses out in Sky Italia case

Italian state broadcaster Rai has lost its appeal against a court ruling that it should cease encrypting its services, including coverage of Italian national team football games, on pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia.

Italy’s highest court, the Council of State, has upheld a ruling made by the Lazio regional court in 2012 that Rai should make its content available on a platform-neutral basis.

Rai had argued that its distribution on free-to-air digital satellite platform Tivu Sat, a joint venture between the company and commercial broadcasters Mediaset and Telecom Italia Media, met access requirements.

However, the Council of State ruled that Tivu Sat did not provide universal reach, adding that Sky subscribers, as licence fee payers, should be able to access Rai programming in a non-discriminatory way.